Dax Shepard will replace Danny Masterson on The Ranch, the Netflix sitcom starring Ashton Kutcher and Sam Elliott, as Variety reports. Shepard will be a guest star in the second half of season 3, which has yet to receive a release date on Netflix. The first half of season three — Netflix drops seasons of The Ranch in halves — will premiere later this year.
Netflix dismissed Masterson from the show in December following a series of rape allegations. The streaming site released a statement confirming that Masterson, who was in the process of filming season 3, would be written off the show. Production was to resume earlier this year without Masteron. Masterson denies all allegations and has said that he's "disappointed" in Netflix's decision to fire him.
"I want to express my gratitude to the cast and crew [of The Ranch] that I’ve worked so closely with over the past three seasons. I wish them nothing but success. I am also so thankful to the fans that have supported me and continue to do so," Masterson said in a statement following his departure.
Shepard is a serendipitous addition to the show, given that he's married to Kristen Bell. Bell is good friends with Mila Kunis, who is married to Kutcher. Who's to say Bell and Kunis won't show up on The Ranch? Kunis and Bell co-starred in Bad Moms and Bad Moms Christmas — during promotion for the movies, Kunis and Bell developed a very public (and very enjoyable) friendship. Now, Kutcher and Shepard can compete with their own co-star friendship.
Kutcher has already posted about Shepard's new role on Instagram. He called the addition a Punk'd reunion. People notes that Shepard once played a "field agent" on Kutcher's '00s prank show.